Malta, the tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean has long been under my radar. This year, when Ryanair finally offered low budget flights from Germany to the island it was my chance. Together with my brother who’s been craving for holidays and some sun after his graduation I flew to Malta and was ready to explore the island – without car though. If possible I avoid car rentals and on Malta it was absolutely possible to explore without car.
Malta and Gozo island are pretty good connected by bus and if you want to explore a bit more (what I highly suggest) I would suggest buying the tallinja card for a week which costs 21€ and allows unlimited bus travel on both islands (a single bus journey costs 2€). You can get the cards in bookshops or kiosks (but not on the bus).
So where should (and can) you go now?
Of course a visit to Malta’s capital is inevitable. Almost every bus goes to Valletta and once there you can wander around all the beautiful old alleys, do a bit of shopping and do a quick stop on your way to Valletta in Sliema to get the view on Valletta’s famous waterfront.
This tiny fishing village is famous for its harbour which is full of the colourful Maltese fishing boats. When you visit that town you might wish to steal one of those boats, sail away and never come back. If you decide to stay you can choose to make a quick trip to nearby St. Peter Pools as many taxi rides are offered from Marsaxlokk to there. To get to Marsaxlokk catch bus number 81 or 85.
In this city parts of Game of Thrones were set and if you arrive you’ll very soon find out why. If you walk through the city gate you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back some hundred years in time plus from there you’ll have amazing views over the whole island! To get to Rabat catch bus number 50, 201 or 202.
On your way to Rabat you’ll pass Mosta, a nice town with a huge and stunning cathedral. I just observed the cathedral from inside the bus as buses to Rabat are incredibly full during summer and it might happen that the bus in Mosta is too full then to pick you up again. To get here catch the same buses as for Rabat.
Dingli city itself isn’t too spectacular, however, Dingli cliffs are. You can either walk from town or get directly to the cliffs by bus. To get to Dingli first get to Rabat and then catch bus number 52 or 56.
- Blue Lagoon, Comino
This is an absolute MUST when on Malta! I’m still baffled by the water’s colour here, they call it blue lagoon for a reason (I could even see my shade on the ground of the water!). To get to the Blue Lagoon you don’t need to book a tour – you can reach the Island by ferry from Cirkewwa for 10€. Lots of busses are going to the ferry terminal, you can catch bus number 41, 42, 101, 221, 222, 250, X1 and X1A.
- Victoria, Gozo Island
As for Comino, ferries to Gozo Island depart from Cirkewwa and only cost around 5€ return! Once arrived on Gozo’s harbour almost every bus (yes, you can also use them with your tallinja card!) goes to the city’s capital, Victoria. This city is truly worth exploring and the gate to the rest of the island.
- Azure Window
One of Malta’s most famous landmarks might be the Azure Window which is truly breathtaking. To get there catch bus number 311 to Djerwa Bay and expect loads of people.
- Mellieha Bay
It seems like this is one of Malta’s most prominent beaches. This might be because it’s one of the seldom sand beaches. However, this beach gets really crowded during summer so I didn’t stop here for a swim. Mellieha Bay is on the way to Cirkewwa and can be reached by bus number 49 or 221.
- Paul’s Bay
As Mellieha Bay, St. Paul’s Bay is on the way to Cirkewwa and accessible via buses number 49 and 221. I didn’t stop here, too, the bay is famous for St. Paul’s island with a huge statue of St. Paul and surely worth a visit.
Of course there’s much more on Malta that is worth a visit and some of these places aren’t accessibly with buses only. But for visiting Malta a first time it was the easiest way to me to explore the island and still see a lot.